|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:
making capital out of the great man. To Alfred, Albert was a man of
genius, of profound politics. The commercial world, enchanted at the
success of the /Review/, had to pay up only three-tenths of their
shares. Two hundred more subscribers, and the periodical would pay a
dividend to the share-holders of five per cent, the editor remaining
unpaid. This editing, indeed, was beyond price.
After the third number the /Review/ was recognized for exchange by all
the papers published in France, which Albert henceforth read at home.
This third number included a tale signed "A. S.," and attributed to
the famous lawyer. In spite of the small attention paid by the higher
circle of Besancon to the /Review/ which was accused of Liberal views,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
the field--convinced him, that if the king of Spain and the Emperor went
together by the ears, England and France and Holland must, by force of
their pre-engagements, all enter the lists too;--and if so, he would say,
the combatants, brother Toby, as sure as we are alive, will fall to it
again, pell-mell, upon the old prize-fighting stage of Flanders;--then what
will you do with your Italian bridge?
--We will go on with it then upon the old model, cried my uncle Toby.
When corporal Trim had about half finished it in that style--my uncle Toby
found out a capital defect in it, which he had never thoroughly considered
before. It turned, it seems, upon hinges at both ends of it, opening in
the middle, one half of which turning to one side of the fosse, and the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heart of the West by O. Henry:
scrambled up and dashed against her, knocking her over like a blade of
Again she made her cast, while the aroused cattle milled around the
four sides of the corral in a plunging mass. This throw was fair; the
white cow came to earth again; and before it could rise Santa had made
the lasso fast around a post of the corral with a swift and simple
knot, and had leaped upon the cow again with the rawhide hobbles.
In one minute the feet of the animal were tied (no record-breaking
deed) and Santa leaned against the corral for the same space of time,
panting and lax.
And then she ran swiftly to her furnace at the gate and brought the
Heart of the West
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:
stiff manner with which I listened to him. Come, thought I, I must and
will get to the bottom of this history; it is like the tale of
Sancho's herdsman, which had the faculty of never getting told. So,
cutting short my companion's theories of education, I said
"This is a very good time, I think, to continue the confidence you
were about to make to me. Here we are sure of no interruption."
"I am afraid I shall prove a poor story-teller," replied Monsieur
Dorlange. "I have spent all my fire this very day in telling that tale
"That," I answered laughing, "is against your own theory of secrecy,